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Arafura Bluewater Charters

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Jedi Seadog
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:40 pm    Post subject: A very Snappery Easter

Spent Easter with family and friends in SA for a very pleasant change this year, with two days spent snapper fishing out of Port Broughton, and the remainder enjoying some wine tasting around Maclaren Vale region. The first day on the water was reported to be in a bit of doubt weather wise but they changed their tune at the last minute and it was a glass out all day really. The last day however was a wipe out with about 40 or more knots of SW so we stayed in bed.
Now I haven’t had many fabulous experiences with charter operations as has been well documented, but this was been organised by my brother who does at least two major ones per year and has always had a good time. True to form we did have an enjoyable day but the way the chap was acting I am sure not everybody would have in a mixed group in a different situation. We hired the entire boat as a charter and contacted the guy again once we were in the area, the day before. There were 5 of us on board as some of the wives opted to stay on land so we were not pressed for room.
It was a little disconcerting for the others to hear over the phone the day before, (as I don’t do a lot of it), that persons bringing braid or plastics are not welcome on the boat! Apparently the braid gets around props, the fish get off and the school moves, it tangles and upsets other fishers, the hooks aren’t adequate on jigs, on and on for 15 minutes, OK we give up. I like bait anyway, so I am just surprised and mildly concerned. The next morning we get to the ramp, he arrives in looking more like a truck driver in work boots and jeans, he appeared anything but happy to be there or ready for a day on the water.
Next everybody is instructed hand over their phones, as he is scared he can be tracked to his secret spots via a new app (no joke), and they are to be left in our car. I report coming from Darwin, and not even vaguely interested in revealing his spots to anyone (yet), nope don’t care, no phone. The only instrument turned on all day was a Simrad GPS receiver and it had duct tape over the lat long area, no sounders or radar, all off, all day. I am starting to get a little worried about the paranoia factor and this guy by now. Shame our camera records GPS data on photos if we want to but, who cares anyway as if we would be interested.
So we are on the water at day light, no safety info, nothing , it just grunts we will be an hour. And takes of like a cut snake at 27 or more knots, not complaining about wasting time steaming anyway. I had an esky of beverages in the cabin and it looked like tipping over but no sign of slowing down a little to fix it so I just hung on and hoped for the best. As we get closer to the other side of the gulf and start to loose sight of our departure side I see something in the distance. Eventually I report to the others we are coming up to a sign. Initially they don’t believe me but yes incredibly this secret location we are homing in on has a four sided shipping marker with a platform some 25meters sq on a steel pylon at least 1.5 meters in diameter. No joke, you would be able to see it from space on google earth and accordingly we dubbed it the Buss Aldrin Channel. We pulled up about a km away from the sign and anchored and started fishing. Equally incredibly, we never lost sight of that sign until we stopped fishing and went home. I will get to the results later. Somebody lost a hooked fish shortly thereafter, and it went a bit weirder if that is possible, I’m sure I could hear deliverance music in the back ground, sure enough, pull in they are gone!!!, and as the last sinker came aboard we are off at 27 knots again hanging on for grim death. He didn’t even turn round to see if we, (including my wife) had found a hand hold out on the deck!!. Then anchor up, and fish again. I ask him how often he looses people over the back, two last week is the serious reply given. Other than that, the only conversation was vehement condemnation of any management or authority’s influences on any aspect of his or anybody’s life in general, just very negative stuff even, for me!.
Any way by nine am our work there was done, bagged out on the over 600mm jobs with a some of them being over a meter and very close to bagging out on the under 600mm models. It was as easy as that, 8/0 hooks 100lb droppers 60 lb Tortue mainlines on ABU 6000s. A bit of an anti climax really and it would have been to easy for the guys wanting to use the plastics on light gear to have a bit of fun while the rest of us emptied the esky. They were the ones who organised it and I felt a bit sorry for them. Even if he had said bring the gear and we will see how the fish are and how you guys handle it. There would be know doubt that a lot of clients have no idea how to handle the stuff and see an I fish show and say lets go do it, but the situation could have been handled a lot different. He clearly thinks he is in the fishing business not the hospitality business.
He wouldn’t release any fish other than undersize, as he is certain they die anyway, giving us a few examples of this. In the end we just drove around some shallower spots outside of the B Aldrin Channel where we could see the bottom (and the sign) as he was saying he didn’t know where they had gone. I suggested could we possibly get any King George Whiting at this time of year. I was told that he wasted 3 hours last week and only got 20 whiting, plus a million trumpeter (our bait for the day). Apparently, it was a waste of time as the water was too warm, as we were week early. At around 12 PM we tapped him on the shoulder and said we had had enough, and would like to go in. He was a bit surprised I think but he steamed back at full noise again, in a complete glass off, and gutted a few of our fish in the boat channel in shore that we wanted whole, and I filleted and skinned did the rest back at our holiday rental home.
A very, very strange day, I haven’t and wont mention the charter name but a search of charters in the area and the word “braid” would see some forums that that do, come up. The shame of it is if he had used his head I would be shouting his praises from the roof tops with the fishing we had.
The positives, and there were a lot. Heaps of fish, good company (other than him), huge mob of fish to eat, and brought a bit home, something to talk about for the rest of the trip, plus the weather, and everyone got home safely. Also he had plenty of ice and gave us a lot more when we got back to take the fish back to our house, he knew how to look after the fish. In reality there were lots of smiles all round and best of all nobody can ever say I am the grumpiest skipper they have heard of again, when the fish are hard to find and catch.
I am still to post the Anson Bay trip the weekend before we flew to SA, I will get to that.


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Jedi Seadog
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:46 pm    Post subject: Re: A very Snappery Easter

That's some nice snapper you've got there - and inabsulutely perfect conditions. bl..dy cold nights down here at the moment though.

Some charter operators (not just near Broughton) seem to be a strange breed.

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Jedi Seadog
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:14 pm    Post subject: Re: A very Snappery Easter

Wow that was different report, cheers funny stuff.

No braid :? :? :? :? have you or any one herd that one before . Must not have much competition to carry on like that , just another crow eater for ya :fu:


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Jedi Seadog
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: A very Snappery Easter

Ha ha ha, great post- reminds me of a couple of mates who travelled to Burmegui for a 3day charter, they got 5 marlin the first day and got screamed at by the skipper if they gave the fish any slack! Then the next day they wanted to chase kingies -the skipper spat the dummy and wanted to chase marlin cos they were on and refunded their money and told them to p..s off!

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Jedi Seadog
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject: Re: A very Snappery Easter

Definatly made em appreiciate what a sensitive skipper they have when they are with me.Attuned to their every need. I didnt get the last name.


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Post Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: A very Snappery Easter

Some nice snapper there mate! I went snapper fishing at a charter yesterday at Mornington in Victoria. Got about 5 snappers but all weren't any where near the size of yours ! All in all great fun, and they do pull harder than barra lol !

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